White House officials calls for white roofs and roads

Chip Lindsey, Amarillo Discovery Center
Chip Lindsey, Amarillo Discovery Center

Changing the color of our roofs and roadways could help slow the effects of global warming according to one White House official.

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu says is necessary to slow down global warming.

Some experts say it's carbon dioxide omissions that are causing the problem, and by reducing the amount of heat homes absorb, less energy is needed to cool them.

Scientists say the darker the surface, the more heat it retains.

"The more heat that you can get out as radiation rather than holding it in as convection, the cooler the planet is going to be," said Chip Lindsey, Amarillo Discovery Center Assistant Director.  "But really the way to cool it off is to reduce the amount of gasses that we produce in order to just live a more confortable lifestyle."

Chu says keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere is important to start now.

"It would be the equivalent as if you took off all the automobiles off the road for eleven years," said Chu.

He says that would reduce the amount of emissions produced by 60 million cars.

Making the choice to have a white roof is possible, but local roofers tell us white shingles are special order and a little more expensive.

Experts say it will reduce your energy bill during the summer, but would have the opposite effect during the winter.

"The question is will the two offset?" said Jose Garcia, National Weather Service Chief Meterologist.  "You're going to have lower cooling cost in the summertime, but your going to see high heating costs in the winter time and in an area like ours where we do experience all four seasons, this may not be a very profitable proposition for our area."